I was bullied because I was a nerd, with all the attributes that go along with being a geek in the ‘1960’s.When kinky hair and coke bottle lenses glasses were definitely not in style. I was picked on, spit on, and had to run away from the boys in the freshman class, because they had “Nair,” and they were not afraid to use it! I had to hide, because I couldn’t stand the screams from the girls they found.
Subsequently, I hid in out in a so-called “bad section,” that definitely was not Jewish, but I made good friends that day in the black community and went back several times before we moved.
There are different kinds of bullying, and mine turned a bit horrific for a 7th grader. One day I was walking through the park across the street we all used as a short cut, when I ran straight into a bunch of boys. They were 9th graders, and one of them, the ring leader, Barry, was my girlfriend’s brother.
I tried to escape, but by then I was surrounded. I prayed that someone would come down that path, but to no avail. I struggled as they removed all of my clothes and thought it was funny to kick me in the crotch , while I was on the ground, and they kicked me hard, so it hurt. That was a warning if I ever told someone.
As I put my clothes on, I looked up and they were gone. After I was fully dressed, I went home and cried and cried in my pillow.
The humiliation was so hard to bear, as was the violation of my personal space. I did not tell anyone, and stayed in the house for a while, until I realized that they were the ones that were threatened.
Why didn’t I defend myself? If it was my brother, I would have tried to kill them. What’s up with that? I am telling this true story, because I know there are others out there with worse encounters than mine.
I am 62 now, and that was over 40 years ago and times have changed. Imagine it was now. I would see myself all over the internet. I cannot even envision it. It hurts me still to think about it. We learned of a local girl who jumped to her death because of cyber-bullying.
There are all kinds of incidents of bullying. Boys and girls too. WE need to stick close to our children so we can tell if something is wrong, because I know I acted differently after it happened and my parents did not take note of the change.
Ask your children, talk to them. What do you think we can do to stop this. It isn’t an old story and will forever be, so it will always be current news.